Meet the Team

Adam Tinkle, MDOCS Director

Adam Tinkle creates, teaches, and writes about music, sound, media, and performance. At the center of Adam’s work are strategies for artistic engagement, interactivity, and pedagogy that draw on experimental music. In 2010, he co-founded the Universal Language Orchestra, a group of elementary-aged novice musicians that composed, improvised, and built their own instruments. He subsequently created several similarly path-breaking arts education programs across San Diego county, where his collaborations with his students and his audience-participatory works were shown at the Birch Aquarium, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Old Globe Theatre, and the Institute of Perception. Before moving to Skidmore in 2014, he was a founding broadcaster on KNSJ 89.1FM, San Diego’s first community radio station, where he led community workshops on radio-making and produced a weekly crowd-sourced music and documentary program. His award-winning solo performance A Mess of Things merges radio documentary with songs and video art. In May 2014, his interactive sound sculpture the Shantytown Scrapblaster was permanently installed at the Media Arts Center San Diego. For More: www.riskyforager.com, www.adamtinkle.com


Sarah Friedland, Storytellers’ Institute Director

Sarah Friedland received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and the International School of Film and Television in Cuba and her MFA from the Integrated Media Art Program at Hunter College. Her documentary films and installations are concerned with personal stories that reveal larger histories and intricacies about place and society. Friedland’s works with Esy Casey have screened widely in the US and abroad and have been supported by grants from the Jerome Foundation, the Paul Newman Foundation, the William H. Prusoff Foundation, the Princess Grace Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Center for Asian American Media. In 2009, after the debut of her feature documentary Thing With No Name, she was named one of the “Top 10 Independent Filmmakers to Watch” by Independent Magazine. She is a recipient of the 2014 Paul Robeson award from the Newark Museum for her feature documentary The Rink, which is slated for PBS (WNET/NJTV) fall 2016. Her recent documentary Jeepney (2015), which she produced with its director Esy Casey, was broadcast on PBS (World Channel). She is currently co-directing the feature documentary Lyd In Exile with Rami Younis, which was invited to pitch at Cannes Film Festival Doc Corner and Days of Cinema in Ramallah in 2018. She has received residencies and fellowships from the Center of Contemporary Art in Pont- Aven, the LABA House of Study, the MacDowell Colony, and The Palestinian American Research Center.  She is an active member of the Meerkat Media Collective. www.sarahfriedland.com


Jesse O’Connell, Program Coordinator

Jesse O’Connell is a documentary filmmaker whose work began at the award-winning Moxie Institute Film Studio + Lab in San Francisco, CA. She was the associate producer and assistant editor on many of Moxie’s films, including the Emmy-nominated series The Future Starts Here and films in the Let it Ripple nonprofit short-film series including Free Speech and Engage. She also worked with over 2,000 schools and nonprofit organizations involved in the Let it Ripple project, helping them to customize any of the five films for their outreach purposes.

She joined the MDOCS staff in the fall of 2015 after moving back to the east coast. She looks forward to helping students of all disciplines uncover important stories in their studies that allow us to look to the future through the lens and perspective of the past. Inspired by the challenge of highlighting the truth in the complex network of the digital landscape, she continues to explore the power of nonfiction storytelling. She has a BS in video production from Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications. www.jessewakeman.org


Daesha Devón Harris, Saratoga Springs native and documentary photographer and award-winning artist, creates powerful multimedia pieces that speak to social issues in a creative and compelling way. Her photos depict subjects not as victims, instead showing them in a light of determination that illuminates Daesha’s relentless optimism. Harris’ practice includes individual and collective portraits of African-American and other often-unrecognized communities in Saratoga Springs, and the use of archival and historical research and images. Her MFA show, and yet must be…my Promise Land, and 2011 show at the National Museum of Dance, I’ve Got a Home: Inside a Community of Color, draw attention to African-American youths affected by gentrification. In 2018 alone Ms. Devon Haris has had solo exhibitions at the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland Oregon and the Albany International Airport gallery and has been included in many prestigious group shows including Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region at the University Art Museum in Albany and Altar: Prayer, Ritual, Offerings, MFON: Women Photographers of The African Diaspora at Photoville in Brooklyn. She was recently nominated as one of the 100 photography heroines by The Royal Photographic Society and she was recently awarded the an individual Photographer’s Fellowship from the Aaron Siskand foundation.

Harris’ earliest mentor was her Great Uncle Joseph Daniels, a self taught artist and accomplished painter from whom she received painting instruction as a young child. She holds a BFA in Studio Art from the College of Saint Rose where she studied under the late Karene Faul – iconic artist and educator. Daesha earned her MFA in Visual Art from The University at Buffalo and has won several NYS artist grants. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions across New York State as well in Philadelphia, PA; Louisville, CO; and beyond. She plays an active role in her community as a youth advocate and cultural history preservationist.


Jennifer Schmid-Fareed, Administrative Assistant

Jennifer Schmid-Fareed is an administrative wizard who spent over ten years helping to manage the yoga retreat and spiritual educational center Ananda Ashram. She’s well skilled in office management, marketing and event production. Along with assisting the MDOCS team, Jennifer is the program coordinator for Skidmore Mindfulness, teaching weekly yoga and meditation classes to students on campus. She holds a B.S. from the University at Buffalo, where she studied psychology and communication. Jennifer lives in Saratoga Springs with her mystical poet husband Nashid and their two children Josephine and Asahi.